India has retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, with a brave rearguard and Melbourne rain unable to save Australia.
Virat Kohli’s Indian side won the third Test by 137 runs at the MCG, with fast-bowler Pat Cummins top-scoring with 63 (114 balls) in Australia’s second innings 261. His excellent resistance ended when he was caught by Cheteshwar Pujara at first slip off Jasprit Bumrah in the fourth over of the day. Nathan Lyon was then caught behind by Rishabh Pant off Ishant Sharma to seal the result.
It’s the first time that India has won a Boxing Day Test.
After rain washed out the morning session on Day 5, Bumrah (3-53) finished best of the Indian bowlers as Australia slumped to 2-1 down in the four-Test series. Tim Paine’s home side can force a series draw by winning the SCG New Year’s Test, but the Australians will need to deliver dramatic improvement with their batting.
Australia is staring down a historic batting catastrophe in Sydney: the prospect of going through a four-Test home series without a century-maker for the first time in 136 years.
Play resumed at 12.55pm on Day 5 at the MCG and play was reduced to 71 overs, but India needed just five to seal victory. Bizarrely, it was the fourth Test from the past five in which Australia has scored more runs in the second innings that the first; a dismal 151 was their first offering at the MCG.
“To get out for 151 in the first innings was just ordinary,” Australian great Shane Warne said on FOX Cricket.
India will be trying to win a Test series in Australia for the first time in the Sydney match.
Cummins told FOX Cricket that the Aussies were desperate not to give away that slice of history.
“Really determined. They’re obviously No.1 in the world for a reason, you can see that every facet – batting, bowling, fielding – they’re just right at the top of their game,” Cummins said.
“We can go 2-all up in Sydney and I think that would be a pretty good result against the No.1 team in the world. Desperate not to lose it.”
Bumrah was man of the match at the MCG, having taken nine wickets for the match. Once a limited-overs specialist, Bumrah was hailed for his transformation into a Test star by captain Kohli.
“The way he has matured in Test cricket and the areas that he’s bowling so quickly in his Test cricket is, I think, a very scary sign for all the batsmen arouind the world,” Kohli said.
“In Test cricket, if there’s a pitch like Perth, I wouldn’t want to face Jasprit Bumrah to be honest, because once he’s on a roll he can really crank it up.
“The way he bowls is so much more different to anyone. I think he realises that more than the batsmen, and that’s why he’s so confident about his skill.”
India 7 for 443 dec (Pujara 106, Kohli 82, Agarwal 76, Rohit 63*) and 8 for 106 dec (Cummins 6-27) beat Australia 151 (Bumrah 6-33) and 261 (Cummins 63) by 137 runs